Affordable dental services can be hard to come by sometimes in a world mostly obsessed with physical appearance, especially without dental insurance. The average cosmetic dentistry patient spends between $5000 and $6000 on procedures to improve their smile and in total Americans spend about $1.4 billion on tooth whitening products and procedures each year.
Fortunately, even though these numbers might seem exorbitant, financing dental care has become much more reasonable today thanks to advancements in dental technologies. It’s the constant development of these tools and procedures that help make certain operations more affordable and accessible to a greater number of people. With that in consideration, here are three of the most important dental technologies throughout history.
1.) Forceps: Known as forceps today, the devices used specifically to extract teeth came about in the 14th century when Guy de Chauliac introduced the dental pelican. Named after the animals beak it resembled, these were used for pulling teeth up until the 18th century when the dental key was invented. These dental technologies paved the way for the modern forceps, which came about in the 20th century.
2.) Dental Fillings: Even though some ancient civilizations were known to have used beeswax for dental fillings as far back as 6,500 years ago, the modern fillings were made prominent by the, “father of modern dentistry,” French surgeon Pierre Fauchard in the early 18th century. As one of the first to recognize the relationship between tartaric acids and tooth decay he developed fillings as a way to treat dental cavities.
3.) Dental Prosthesis: Fauchard is also credited with inventing the technology behind dental prosthesis. Long before porcelain veneers came around he used ivory and bone to substitute teeth and gold wire to fix teeth position because the earliest form of braces.
Virtually all Americans (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Thanks to dental technologies like these Americans and humans around the world have access to clean, healthy, and attractive teeth.